The scam machinery – powered by paid Ads and bullet proof hosting

In a joint investigation with Le Monde, Qurium has investigated a number of fake articles – impersonating Le Monde news paper – spreading disinformation and linking readers to fraudulent crypto currency investment scams. Our investigation lead us to RPT Company, a Russian affiliate marketing organization run by Leonid Belov and Yakov Rutman, awarded for their creative capacity to “drive traffic” in the advertisement industry. One of their secrets: impersonate known media, publish disinformation and collaborate with crypto fraudsters.

The industry of online scams, including disinformation, sales of fake products, fraudulent crypto currency investments etc., is fueled by paid Ads in social networks as Facebook. Since Facebook completely fails to ensure that the paid Ads in their platform are not malicious, their platform has become a free heaven for frauds of all kinds.

Networks of fraudsters work closely with advertisement agencies that happily make readers fall into the scams. Another important building block for the scam machinery is the bullet proof hosting providers that gladly host disinformation and scam websites while protecting the identity of their owners at all cost thanks to crypto currency payments.

The online advertisement industry is today not only completely broken, but cyber criminals are already deeply rooted inside it and the major social media platforms are their accomplices.

Qurium report: A journey into the Crypt of cloned media

Le Monde report: Derrière les fausses interviews d’Elise Lucet ou de Jamel Debbouze, les mafias des arnaques aux placements

Digital forensics: Tord Lundström <t at> Technical Director
Media: Clara Zid <info at> Media and Outreach Manager